In Salesforce, what is the difference between a “Lead” and a “Contact”?

“Lead”:

  • the equivalent of a business card somebody hands you in passing or drops off at a trade show.
  • No promise of any business, just interest and a potential for future business

“Contact” :

  • someone you have done business with already (in the form of an opportunity, open or closed).

When a lead is deemed worthy of pursuing and turning into (potential) business, it is converted in Salesforce to an account, contact, and optionally an opportunity.

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